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London - Jaguar Land Rover smashed its annual sales records during 2013 as global demand soared.
Britain’s biggest carmaker said it had sold 425 006 vehicles – a 19 percent increase on 2012 – and had set sales records in 38 international markets.
The announcement came as Britain is poised to overtake ailing France in the European car production league table. Strong and rising sales of British-built cars, both at home and abroad, will see France slip from third place – behind Germany and Spain – to be replaced by Britain.
Yesterday, Jaguar Land Rover claimed it was the fastest-growing car brand in Germany, India and the US, with other strong markets including Russia, Brazil, Korea and Canada. At home, Jaguar sales rose 15 percent in 2013, with Land Rover up 13 percent.
Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “2013 has proven to be a very positive year, thanks to strong demand for vehicles across the range.
“Our unrelenting focus on design, technology, innovation and quality has seen us reach global consumers in more markets than ever before.”
ON THE WAY TO A MILLION?
Independent industry analyst Howard Wheeldon said: “The brand success of Jaguar Land Rover over the past three years has been as phenomenal as it has been well deserved. With a workforce that is clearly hugely supportive and right behind what management is attempting to achieve, there is no reason why in five years’ time this fine company will not be announcing that it sold over one million cars.”
Britain’s car industry has remained a rare bright spot during the economic downturn, with exports holding up well as customers in emerging markets continued to snap them up.
With the economy on the mend, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders recently said car sales were at their highest since the credit crisis of 2007 thanks to the nascent recovery, cheap financing deals and buyers using refunds from mis-sold payment protection insurance.
Last week, Jaguar Land Rover launched a recruitment drive to hire workers for a new engine manufacturing centre, which will create 600 new roles in the next four years at its site near Wolverhampton. About £500 million (R8.79 billion) is being invested in the facility.
The firm also has design and manufacturing plants in Merseyside and Warwickshire, while its head office is in Coventry.